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Dismissed Member Sues Church

The First Amendment prevents courts from resolving such cases.

Ohio
State:

• A federal district court in Ohio ruled that the constitutional guaranty of religious freedom prevented it from resolving a lawsuit brought by a dismissed church member against her former church. A member of a local Baptist church had been active in church activities for 40 years. In 1984, the church's pastor resigned, and the member assisted him in relocating to another church. The new pastor intepreted the member's actions in assisting the former pastor as a resignation of her membership, and he transferred her membership to the former pastor's new church. The member insisted that she was merely "helping a friend," and had no intention of resigning her membership or transfering to the new church. Nevertheless, the church terminated her membership and treated her like a non-member, refusing to allow her to vote in church elections and attempting to bar her from attending church services. ...

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1991

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